What can the construction industry expect in 2019?

8th January 2019
Cranes on construction sites

With Britain set to make big political decisions in 2019, the construction industry should be ready to adapt to the changing landscape. So, what can we expect in 2019?

Changing our relationship with Europe

Well, let’s look at Brexit first. Whatever the eventual outcome of the negotiations – and there’s a chance we may yet remain in the EU as things stand – it’s undeniable that Brexit has already had an impact, with the chance that its consequences may yet get more profound.

But what actually has that impact been to date? Well, above all the construction industry has faced considerable uncertainty. The lack of clarity or understanding as to what is going to happen has made it very difficult to forecast and predict.

At Plastic Surgeon, we’re fortunate that our business model is a robust one and we’ll weather any potential storm that comes in the wake of Brexit. However, the same can’t necessarily be said for some of our industry partners and competitors.

With potential for a shortage of skilled workers and possible increases in material costs for the wider industry, everyone needs to be ready to adapt as the situation changes.

Aging workforce

The UK construction workforce is an ageing one (and in particular amongst its UK born workers). In 2011 it was estimated that one in five workers were over 55, which means by 2021 those workers are either set to, or already will have retired.

In the wider construction industry there’s a distinct lack of younger talent coming through to make up for this shortage and thus a reduction in experience. So, what’s the solution?

Well, we believe that in addition to a greater focus on apprenticeship schemes, more construction firms will have to turn to specialist expertise to make up for a lack of experienced labour.

Looking more specifically at our own niche, replacement work on construction sites is a burden on the main contractors’ experienced resources. As such, we expect a continued trend of outsourcing to repair specialists throughout the construction sector in 2019.

Embracing a sustainable construction approach

The final trend we’re anticipating is a move towards a more integrated approach to sustainable construction. With growing pressure on the industry to become more environmentally friendly, we expect many to adapt from merely being compliant with new regulations, to actively embracing the competitive advantage on offer.

In addition to utilising sustainable construction methods, we’ve noticed an increase in firms taking a restoration-first approach to on-site damage at the end of a project. By minimising replacements and repairing instead they’re able to significantly lower the number of damaged items unnecessarily heading to landfill and bolster sustainability targets.

2019 is set to be a busy year at Plastic Surgeon but we’re ready to support the wider construction industry during what could be a tumultuous 12 months.

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